How to check out a guitar

This is the book you need!

Whether you’re a pro guitar player or a newbie just wanting to learn, chances are this book will save you money and headaches on your next guitar purchase!

If you are in the market for a guitar or expect to be buying a guitar some time in the future – this book is for you!

Let me tell you about a recent customer I had. Just day before yesterday, in fact. I’ll call him “Denny”.

My customer, Denny, is an experienced, professional guitar player, who decided to build an “Awesome Cheap Guitar”. He explained that he bought a guitar with “good bones”, upgraded the bridge pickup, and installed expensive new strings, but it still wouldn’t “play right”. So he brought it to me for a setup.

I glanced over the guitar, noting that the neck had a slight back bow and some nut slots were too low and probably the cause of the buzzing he complained about. Based on those observations, I quoted $70 for a setup, $50 for a new nut, and $10 for strings because I don’t take time to save strings, I just cut them off.

This was about the amount he’d paid for the guitar originally, but he OK’d the deal, and the guitar went to my workbench.

I tuned the guitar and readjusted the truss rod that had been over-tightened. Before removing the strings, I did a quick check of the frets and had to stop everything right there.

Badly worn frets

All the frets were worn flat and the first several frets had wear grooves so deep that at least one fret would have to be replaced. After that, all frets would need to be leveled and crowned. Level and crown adds $70 to the bill and replacing a fret adds another $25.

The total would come to $225 – much more than he’d paid for the guitar, and much more than the guitar would be worth, even after all the work!

I told him the guitar wasn’t worth investing this much money in and that there would be no charge for what I’d done so far. I also said that I had better guitars that I’d checked out, selected, cleaned, polished, set up, new strings, etc., and ready to go from just $150, and I’d give him a small trade allowance and let him keep his pricey pickup.

He said he’d do just that and he’d drop by the next day. When he arrived the next day, he was bubbling with happy excitement – a band buddy had heard he was guitar shopping and just happened to have a “great guitar” he could make him a deal on.

He handed me the guitar and could hardly wait for my opinion. Sadly, it took me about thirty seconds to determine that it needed a new nut and a total refret! Yes, these frets were worn much worse than his first guitar! It was a face-palm moment for sure.

This book will ensure you never end up in that boat. It will more than pay for itself, almost certainly, the very next time you buy a guitar. “Guitars Gone Bad: How to Check Out a Guitar” or buy on Amazon: “Guitars Gone Bad